Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson suffered a major injury setback when crashing during her race in Rome earlier this month. After a dozen years on the international circuit, expect the Australian superstar to come back stronger than ever. In the meantime, enjoy her words of wisdom.

1. Keep your options open

“I would say to any young athlete: don't pick a single event too early. I think I specialised too much on sprints and hurdles from a young age when I should have perhaps tried another event.

“Before athletics, I came from a gymnastics background, and I should have perhaps tried an event like the pole vault, which would have been fun. I was used to being upside down and I have the strength and the speed.

“It is important to try lots of events because you don't know where your talent lies.”

Sally Pearson ()

Pole-free vaulting. Pearson's athletic career could have been very different.

2. Get social

“As an athlete it is important for your personality and all-around knowledge as a professional athlete to meet as many people as possible involved in the sport, whether that is officials, coaches, agents or other athletes.

“It was something I perhaps never allowed myself to do in my younger days. If you want to stay involved in the sport after your athletics career is over, it is a wise idea.”

Allyson Felix, Mo Farah and Sally Pearson at the press conference ahead of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha (DECA Text & Bild)

FAST FRIENDS: Pearson with fellow Olympic champs Allyson Felix and Mo Farah

3. Savour the memories

“I would say enjoy your career as much as you can. When I was a younger athlete with my career ahead of me I thought I've got another 15 years in the sport, which is a long time.

“But time passes quickly and you wonder where that time went. I would say try and hold on to the memories.

“People would always tell me to write a diary, I never did but it was a good idea. I would say to any athlete to keep a diary because those memories can be treasured forever and enjoyed by your kids and grandkids.”